A Different Way To Earn Your High School Diploma: Cali Putnam

During her freshman year, Cali Putnam attended Garden Grove high school. Going into high school, Cali was suffering through depression and personal problems at home. She was hoping that high school could be a place “to escape [her] conflicts and a place to get away”. Instead problems began to arise, her grades were dropping and she couldn’t focus in class. Cali states, “I would wake up and get ready for school, but would start crying because I would anticipate the day ahead.”

Stressed and overwhelmed, Cali found out about independent studies through a friend. Independent studies is a different way of learning than regular public schools, allowing students in the program to take classes that are guided by a teacher without other students. It intrigued Cali because it allowed her to work at her own pace, while still obtaining a high school diploma. Although it took several of months to convince her mother to enroll her into the program, she finally got an approval by the district to start her independent studies.

Cali mentions, “Independent studies is the best decision I’ve made in my life”. She received a great teacher through the program who she “gotten the pleasure to work with”. With this program, Cali meets with the teacher one on one for only 3 hours for 2 days a week. Cali can choose the subject(s) she wants the teacher to guide her through, allowing her control over her workload and stress.

With more time on her hands, Cali has invested her free time on her Youtube Channel, which just started a month ago. So far she has posted videos involving her life and also uploaded a video explains her journey with independent studies.

According to Cali, independent studies has “allowed her to grow and mature in ways she didn’t think she ever would before.” She has become more involved in her church and met new friends, and strengthen friendships with old ones. Independent studies gives Cali the space she needs if problems come up while still focusing in school. Although she does miss a few things from school like seeing friends everyday and all the events our school has to offer, Cali believes independent studies was the right decision for her education.